The purpose of this paper is to outline the contribution of marketing to program evaluation in the school sector. Schools are increasingly the target of government-funded environmental education initiatives and this paper aims to illustrate, through a sector-wide program case study, how marketing metrics can improve overall program evaluation. Existing school-based program evaluations are often not accompanied by rigorous evaluation of their impact beyond educational outcomes. Evaluation focuses instead on improving satisfaction of those already participating, rather than looking at the wider issues of program adoption and engagement levels across the sector. This paper also aims to look at how traditional marketing's evaluation metrics can address this gap.
A case study is used involving a sector-wide recycling program whose objective is to reduce waste across all schools across a State in Australia. The program, administered by a government agency, had only been evaluated within an educational outcome context. Using existing data on the program from across the school sector, marketing metrics are calculated to provide new insight into the program's wider impact.
This research illustrates the relevance of marketing metrics to educational sector activities. It illustrates how to embed metrics into the program and identifies insights they can offer as a supplement to existing educational outcome measures. Such measures are highly useful to funding bodies deciding on a program's development and continuation.
Marketing provides empirically-based program metrics that are easy and cost-effective to obtain, objective in their measure, and provide feedback loops to participants. Having impacts more clearly measured allows for effective program administration within the childhood education sector. This paper delivers practical guidelines for program administrators.
The paper brings marketing into an environmental education context, illustrating its contribution for better measurement of behaviour change. It gives marketing practitioners and academic researchers a framework within which they can use already available program data to better gauge the uptake and impact of their efforts.
The authors wish to gratefully acknowledge the research partnership the University of South Australia has with Zero Waste (SA). This research would not have been possible without their financial support for the case analysis and information sharing. In particular, Vaughan Levitzke, Erin Henson and Marcia Hewitt of Zero Waste (SA) and Jo Hendrikx and John Phillips from KESAB (that delivers the program referred to in this paper) are thanked for championing this research and being committed to disseminating its findings and improving environmental programs.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited